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International Leaderships and Information Society Answers to Poverty

Carlos César Pimenta

A new technological, economic, political, cultural, organisational and managerial arquitecture of the common interest has arisen. There is a process of global restructuring of the prevailing development model, based on the creation of information and knowledge networks.

Within this process, Internet is not only a technology, but it is a new way to organise the new economy and the new society, as part of permanent deconstruction and construction context. This is a society of people and networks among people, where traditional social institutions are dissolving.

The new development model based on knowledge and information includes positive trends, such as the rise of democracy; increasing productivity; the expansion of human knowledge; movements to protect the environment, women and children; and more people and regions enjoying better living conditions.

On the other hand, there is a perverse relationship between informational capitalism and increasing inequality, polarisation and social exclusion. Thus, this new model includes both development and under development, with social inclusion and exclusion processes at the same time..

In order to fight inequality and social exclusion, the action of national States is needed with the help of more legitimate international leaderships and organisations with a more balanced representation of nations and citizens in the world.

There are differences in the G-8 proposals regarding the Group of Progressive Governments, but there are also similarities, such as democratisation of the access to Internet, originally proposed by the United Nations.

Furthermore, it has been stated that funding social welfare by the substantial increase in productivity resulting from the advances of information society is possible. Thus, a new welfare State may emerge. However, this is not a natural trend, and this process should be built.

The democratisation of the access to Internet in less developed countries as a strategy to fight poverty may be helpful, but probably this is not a solution per se, because poverty is not a social phenomenon that depends only on technology.

The role of State as a negotiator in this advance process of the network is a must. It should articulate communities, businesses, scholars, politicians, and NGO’s, among others; widen up the participation of actors when seeking consensus, and defending the people’s interests.

It is time for renewal by creating new paradigms and speeding up social transformation. Society and State new challenges are to fight social and cybernetic exclusion; capitalise on technological advances and the political time to face social inequality; and strengthen social welfare, solidarity, participation, and democracy.

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